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Hyssington Castle

Also known as, or recorded in historical documents as;
Castle Hill; Sneth; Snead; Sned; Snet

In the community of Churchstoke.
In the historic county of Montgomeryshire.
Modern authority of Powys.
Preserved county of Powys.

OS Map Grid Reference: SO31459451
Latitude 52.54427° Longitude -3.01251°

Hyssington Castle has been described as a certain Timber Castle, and also as a certain Masonry Castle.

There are masonry footings remains.

This site is a scheduled monument protected by law.


The 'castle of Sned' is mentioned in documents dating from 1231, 1233 and 1332. The visible remains include a roughly rectangular enclosure approximately c.87m by 27-44m defined by scarps that occupies the summit of a small hill next to St Ethelreda's Church. At the northern angle is a mutilated possible motte, c.23.5m by 27.5m, with traces of a ditch facing the interior of the enclosure and footings of an irregular polygonal structure, c.7.6-8.5m in diameter, upon its summit. The entrance is at the south angle, with the possible platform of a tower adjacent to it. In the centre of the enclosure are the traces of a rectangular building, 30m by 10m; these, traces of other, smaller buildings and the structure upon the 'motte' are thought to post date the castle occupation (source Os495card; SO39SW15). Coflein–J.Wiles, RCAHMW, 18 September 2002)

A small mound-and-bailey castle, stationed upon a slight elevation immediately adjoining the churchyard. The summit of the hill constitutes a plateau of a little less than an acre in extent, and the slopes are fairly precipitous all round. The mound was placed at the north-western corner of the plateau, the external line of the hill having been sharply scarped at this point. Internally it was cut off from the main area of the plateau by a somewhat shallow fosse. Both mound and ditch have been much tampered with, rendering it difficult to estimate the original height or depth of either. The bailey occupied the remainder of the summit; it is in shape an irregular oval, measuring 84 yards from N.W. to S.E., and 30 yards across. It does not seem to have been protected by an earthen wall, but such a wall runs round the base of the hill, except where it meets the stone wall of the churchyard. The entire position is dominated by closely adjacent higher ground to the north, and the position has altogether the appearance of an early work, occupied and altered at a later period. (RCAHMW)

An alternative site for the castle of Snead is Symon's Castle. This is located in a tongue of Wales sticking into Shropshire and is well east of Offa's Dyke. The placename suggests early Saxon occupation here and the form is that of a Saxon thegnal burh later converted into a small motte and bailey.
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Sources of information, references and further reading
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This record last updated 04/07/2016 07:46:44